It must be said: the administrative is not the most fun part when preparing your vacation. However, as evidenced by the number of travelers turned away at the borders, this step is essential to be able to leave with peace of mind. Health, proof of identity, and permits of all kinds… it is sometimes difficult to navigate. Especially since some countries are more demanding than others? So always think about what is mandatory or not for your destination. What travel documents to take? Here is our checklist of essentials!


Depending on the country you are going to visit, you will not necessarily need a passport. If you travel in France or the European Union, a simple identity card is enough. It is now valid for 15 years and is free for all French citizens. Therefore, the deadlines for obtaining can be quite long, remember to make your application in town hall at least one month before your departure, and even more before the summer holidays!

This video can explain it more:

If you are travelling outside the European Union, a valid biometric passport is required. Warning: some countries require that your passport is still valid 3 to 6 months after your return date. This is the case of many Asian destinations, such as India or Thailand. To obtain a passport, go to your nearest town hall or apply for a passport online to simplify the process. Children must now have their own travel documents, as it is no longer possible for them to be registered on one of the parents’ passports. This is valid for 5 years for a minor and 10 years for those over 18.

The visa or entry authorizations

If you are travelling outside Europe, please check if a visa is required. The rates and validity periods vary greatly depending on the destination, but most often the request is made on the site of embassies or in the arrival airport so remember to provide cash, usually in euros or dollars. Specifically, the visa is a paper or stamp that is stuck in your passport and that proves that you are authorized to enter the territory.

National and international driving licences

Among the essential travel documents, one rarely thinks about his driver’s license. Even if you go with a backpack, you may be tempted to rent a car or scooter abroad! Within the Schengen area and the European Union, your French permit is sufficient.

Outside of Europe, it’s a bit more complicated… you will have to apply for an IDP: International Driver’s Licence. For this, you will have to go to your prefecture with the requested documents and you will receive your PCI by mail. It is only valid for 3 years, so always check its validity before your next trip! Warning: abroad you will always have to present your two permits, indeed your international permit is worth nothing without your French permit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *